Our Team

Board of Directors

Calvin Hui – Chairman
Calvin enjoys his involvement with Minds Matter because the organization positively impacts the lives of Chicago students. Calvin graduated from Duke University with degrees in Biomedical Engineering and Economics. He works at DRW Trading Group, a proprietary trading firm, where he currently trades Agricultural products.

Lisa Souter – Director
Lisa joined Minds Matter in 1998 as a mentor/team leader in New York. She now serves as the Chairman of the Chicago chapter. Her strong belief in the mission of Minds Matter prompted her to co-found the Boston and Chicago chapters. Lisa received her BS/BA from Georgetown University and MBA from Harvard University.

P. Barton DeLacy – Director
Barton is Managing Director and National Practice Leader for Corporate Valuation Consulting at Cushman & Wakefield, New York based international real estate services firm. DeLacy comes to Chicago from Portland, OR, where he was active on community and non-profit boards. He continues to serve as Trustee on the Board of the Abbey Foundation of Mt. Angel, OR. Aside from holding the professional appraisal designation, MAI, he has been elected to the Counselors of Real Estate and earned a Masters in Urban Planning. Barton and his wife Mary Mike have four grown children.

Randy Wagner – Director
Randy Wagner joined the board of Minds Matter to make a contribution at the end of 2008. Her focus is optimizing our communication, leveraging her marketing experience as former Chief Marketing Officer for Orbitz Worldwide, EVP at Leo Burnett, and Corporate VP of Strategic Global Branding for McDonald’s, where she was part of the leadership team that galvanized the brand’s turnaround. Prior to moving to Chicago, she contributed to building brands for a wide range of companies including Citibank, Chrysler, American Express, Exxon, Campbell Soup and Colgate-Palmolive.

Sean Moran – Director
Sean joined the Minds Matter board in 2011. He grew up in the local area and has been involved in the Chicago community through organizations such as Generation Tech Mentors and Ladder Up. Professionally, Sean has spent his career consulting for ZS Associates, taking on clients’ growth and strategic marketing challenges across a wide range of industries. He has an MBA from the Kellogg School of Management and BS in Engineering from the University of Illinois.

Bill Malczyk – Treasurer
Bill Malczyk has been involved with the Chicago Chapter of Minds Matter as a board member since 2012. He believes strongly in the mission of Minds Matter and the difference it can make in the lives of the Mentees. He is a Managing Director in the restructuring practice at Ernst & Young where he advises clients on risk and strategy. Bill grew up and currently lives in the Chicago area with his wife and two children.

Trish Gyorey – Director

Paul Zajac – Director

Management Team

Members of our Management Team oversee each functional area of the organization.

Aaron Brown – President
Aaron has been involved with Minds Matter since 2007 in a wide range of roles. He’s passionate about the program and has witnessed its impact firsthand in class after class of seniors seeing their college dreams fulfilled. Aaron graduated from the University of Chicago and works at the Boston Consulting Group. In his free time he likes to run, explore Chicago’s neighborhoods, and listen to hip hop.

Kristen Siebert – Co-Director of Mentors

Liz Coffey – Co-Director of Public Relations
Liz joined the management team in 2013 after hearing some of the program’s success stories from a colleague. She has a bachelor’s degree from the University of Notre Dame where she studied American Studies and Journalism, Ethics and Democracy and a master’s degree from Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism. Liz currently works in management communications for McDonald’s Corporation.

Pradeep Sadhu – Director of Technology
Pradeep has over 12 years of consulting experience in implementing business technology transformations for Fortune 100 and middle market businesses. He has been involved with Minds Matter Chicago Chapter since May 2015. Pradeep has MBA from the University of Notre Dame and Masters in Computer Science.

Maria Ptouchkina
Maria has been involved with Minds Matter Chicago Chapter since 2012 when she joined as a mentor. She enjoys her involvement with the organization because it is an incredible opportunity to work together with students to help realize their full potential. Maria received her BA in Psychology and Cognitive Science from Northwestern University. She currently works in technology consulting at Isobar.

Suoyang Hou – Co-Director of the summer program
Suoyang joined Minds Matter in 2014 as a mentor. She now serves as a co-director of the summer program of the Chicago Chapter. She believes strongly in the mission of Minds Matter and the importance of creating opportunities through education. Suoyang works as a product manager at Uptake and has earned both undergraduate and graduate degree from Northwestern University.

Clara Tse – Alumni Director
Clara Tse joined Minds Matter after learning about this organization from a friend who mentored at the New York chapter. In her six years with the organization, she has served as Mentor, Alumni Director, and Co-Director of the Senior Program. She graduated from Northwestern University and received her Master in Health Services Administration from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. She currently works at a healthcare consulting firm, specializing in revenue cycle improvement.

Victoria Stroz – Co-Director of Junior Program
Victoria is thrilled to be a part of the Chicago chapter of Minds Matter! Prior to her move to Chicago in 2012, Victoria volunteered with Minds Matter New York for three years. As a mentor, she worked with one student through his high school graduation. Victoria currently works at IMC Financial Markets in Human Resources. Victoria earned her Bachelor degree in Finance from Villanova University. In her spare time Victoria enjoys exploring the Chicago food scene and skiing wherever she can find mountains and snow!

Thomas Kan – Co-Director of Mentors
Thomas has been volunteering with Minds Matter since 2009, starting as a Mentor for three years in New York before serving as a Team Leader for three years here in Chicago. Thomas holds a BA in economics from the University of Pennsylvania and an MBA from the Kellogg School of Management, and is currently working in marketing at Orbitz.

Patrick McEntee – Co-Director of Sophmore Program
Having spent five years as a mentor, Patrick is excited to make the move to Program Director. He loves working directly with students, and his peers, to achieve academic and personal success. Originally from New York, Patrick and his family moved to Chicago two years ago, just in time for the worst winter in a century. A graduate of Hofstra University, Patrick has worked in the media industry for 10 years, and is currently in the client solutions division of The Economist. In addition to Minds Matter, he enjoys reading, distance sports, and spending quality time with his wife and kids.

Ada Pema – Co-Director of Senior Program
Ada Pema has been involved with the Chicago Chapter of Minds Matter since 2013. Growing up as an immigrant in a low-income community, she values the opportunity to help students navigate the challenges of pursing higher education in the United States. Ada manages international business development and operations at McMaster-Carr Supply Company. She received a BA in English Literature and a minor in Government from Harvard University.

Miriam Troostwijk – Co-Director of Summer Programs
Miriam has volunteered with Minds Matter as a mentor since 2013 and enjoys seeing the growth mentees make over the course of their three years with the program, both personally and academically. She graduated from Northwestern University and is currently a management consultant with a focus on customer experience for PwC.

Thomas Paras – Co-Director of Fundraising
Thomas joined Minds Matter in 2014 and served on the Associate Board during the 2014-2015 school year. He is continuously impressed with the success of our students and with the passion of the organization’s volunteers. Thomas earned his BA from the University of Michigan and his Master of Accounting from the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business. He currently works in the Deal Advisory practice at KPMG.

Claire Henderson – Co-Director of Sophomore Program
Claire has been involved with Minds Matter since 2012 when she helped launch the Twin Cities Chapter as the Director of Writing & Critical Thinking. Her favorite part of the organization is helping students with their writing and critical thinking skills, and seeing their personal essays come to life! Claire graduated from Washington University in St. Louis and works in Sales & Business Development for General Mills.

Maria Ekpo – Director of Recruitment
I am passionate about closing the achievement gap between well off and underprivileged students and am excited to play a role in recruiting for Minds Matter. I work in management consulting, mostly in the healthcare insurance space.

Jennifer Walker – Director of Finance
Jennifer joined Minds Matter as a mentor in 2011. After her mentee graduated and went on to college, she took on a new role as a Co-Director of Summer Programs in 2013, and then in 2014 moved on to the Director of Finance role. Jennifer graduated from Arizona State University with a dual degree in Finance and Economics and is currently working as a Financial Analyst at Morningstar.

Ryan Evans – Co-Director of Test Preparation
Ryan began his tenure with Minds Matter as a test prep instructor in 2014. He graduated from Miami University with a bachelor’s degree in business and earned his J.D. from DePaul University. When not helping Minds Matter students maximize their standardized testing potential, Ryan is a trial attorney in Chicago specializing in medical malpractice and health care defense.

Alex Shirley – Director of Strategy
Currently work as a Consultant at The Cambridge Group, and have lived in Chicago since 2011. Became involved with Minds Matter in 2012 as a mentor.

Brent Troxell – Co-Director of Summer Programs
Brent is in his first year with Minds Matter Chicago after serving as a mentor with Minds Matter Twin Cities in 2013-2014. Brent is a graduate of Wofford College and received his Master of Public Administration from UNC-Chapel Hill. He currently works as the Deputy Director of Public Works for the Village of Glenview, IL.

Margaret Titley – Co-Director of Test Prep
Margaret has been working with Minds Matter of Chicago since our first year in 2006. She has volunteered as a mentor, ACT tutor and test prep teacher. In the role of Co-Director of Test Prep, she looks forward to building on a successful program and providing our students with the tools to get their best possible score on the ACT. Margaret graduated from the University of Wisconsin – Madison with a BA in History and now works at MB Financial Bank in Treasury Management Operations.

Eric Chen – Co-Director of Senior Program
I am a Northwestern graduate working in product management in the airline industry. I have been a part of Minds Matter as a mentor, a part of the fundraising team, and co-director of the senior program.

Laila Chen – Director of Mentors
Laila joined Minds Matter as a mentor in 2009. After seeing her mentee graduate high school and move onto college with a 4-year full ride, Laila joined the executive board in 2012. Laila graduated from Northwestern University with a major in Political Science.

Erik Olson – Co-Director of Fundraising; Mentor
Erik has been involved with Minds Matter for several years as a mentor and recently joined the management team as Co-Director of Fundraising, focusing on the organization’s events. Erik graduated from Bowdoin College and currently works at Arch Capital Group.

Emily Dobrowski – Co-Director of Fundraising
Emily joined the management team in 2016 as a Co-Director of Fundraising after serving on the Associate Board during the 2015-2016 school year. Emily earned a BA in Communication and Psychology from the University of Michigan. She currently works as a Marketing Associate at Wind Point Partners.

Associate Board

The Associate Board oversees the fundraising efforts of Minds Matter of Chicago and is comprised of three committees: Corporate Sponsorship, Event Planning and Individual Fundraising.

Thomas Paras
Nicole Salaber
Nick Petruska
LeeAnn Irwin
Michael Decomo
Tyler Weston
Stew Kerr
Archith Murali
Erik Olson
Nolan Jones
Max Needle
Sean Stanley
Jan Jaro
Lauren Robfogel
Mike Chmielewski
James Depaul
Cody Boender
Leeda Wang
Zack Shaftal
Eliza Wood
Lee Keller
Emily Dobrowski
Ryan Menges
Viraj Patel
Cameron Huang
Arthur Chow
Nikeeta Sriram

Test Prep Volunteers

Dan Allen
Trisha Bakshi
Nihar Bhupalam
Kate Hui
Alyse Kowalick
Riya Penn
Betty Sharples
Sean Shiels
Emilie Syberg
Margaret Titley
Adrienne Yeager

Communications Team

Katy Broom
Adam Mesirow